How to Be Remembered


When you’ve worked on something for a long time and it seems threatened, life can be confusing and frustrating. All this work and what do I have to show for it?

I have been in the middle of some turmoil in my church where it seemed everything was coming apart. Without going into details, people are feeling hurt and ready to take offense at actions or words offered with no intent to offend.

We have had a wonderful group of people and a great new building in which to worship. One of the ways people supported the community and the church was to put on an annual multi-ethnic cultural festival. In the past few weeks it has seemed at times that it has all been at risk.

In other areas of my life, I have been personally fortunate in the face of a declining economy. But, since I am, I hope, nearing retirement, I am worried about inflation and all the apparent changes in medical care. I am one of those people who can find something to worry about with the best of them. Given the current news, it is truly a wonderful time to be a pessimist.

But, I am reminded that life goes on. My niece Carrie is going to marry a wonderful young man, Sean. Everybody in both families is delighted. It brought me back to the reality that with all its turmoil, life goes on. Whether it is the “Circle of Life” from The Lion King or “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof, life continues.

This couple is to be married. A co-worker and his wife have a new son (who is the only one in the house getting any sleep). And life continues.

Last night I was looking at YouTube clips of President Reagan telling jokes. My father had enough Irish in him to tell jokes with that same twinkle. I learned from him that you can say almost anything if you have that twinkle.

The wedding and the church festival are both happening this weekend. When, and only when, the wedding celebration is complete, I will head to the festival.

I have decided how I want to be remembered at the wedding. I have a friend Carl whose jokes can sometimes be worse than my father’s. But one thing I have learned from both of them: it is much better to be remembered for bad jokes than a sour puss.

My father -that’s “Pop” to you, Carrie, always said he wanted to live to be 105 and to be shot by a jealous husband … with cause. Pop didn’t make it.

I have a humbler goal for the weekend; I want to be remembered for telling the worst joke, the biggest groaner, at the wedding. I want it to be so bad that Carrie and Sean shake their heads over it when they remember it when they are planning their grandchildren’s weddings.

I may not accomplish that, but I have decided that laughter, even at a bad joke, is better than anything (Oops – I forgot about a honeymoon … Oh Well …)

So! Did you hear the story about ….

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One comment on “How to Be Remembered
  1. Matt D. says:

    Dale – did you hear about the two peanuts that went walking in Central Park?

    One was a salted.

    Try that at the wedding!

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